WoF Making a Difference
Catherine Haynes, All Printing Resources
I am sure most of us can reflect on at least one person we have admired and looked to as a positive role model in our life. People that are making a difference in our life. For many, it may be someone you have known your whole life. Maybe it’s a person that played a significant role through a particular phase of your life. Perhaps you only know them through the news or other media. Grandparents, parents, sibling, aunts, uncles, spouses, religious leaders, teachers, friends, bosses, colleagues, and all walks of people you may have never even met can become guides for who and how you want to be. You seek them out when you have questions. You pay attention to what they say and do. They are beacons that light your path. Whether they know it or not, they are mentors. They are making a difference and helping you to navigate the forks and obstacles along your route and shape who you are or will be.
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
- John C. Crosby
Being a historically male-dominated industry, there are many great men within Flexo that have been role models and mentors to others in the industry. They have shared their experiences, welcomed new ideas, and helped expand the opportunities for men and women. Much like we were reminded in celebrating the women in history throughout March, it is important to recognize we have plenty of great women to look up to within Flexo as well. Starting in 2020, Women of Flexo began introducing us to a few of these role models through the WoF webinars and blogs and this organization intends to keep that ball rolling. Women are now strong in Flexo, growing in numbers and rank each year. We are finding our collective voice grows more powerful as we consistently demonstrate how we can positively impact our industry, helping it to grow and evolve.
As part of the Women of Flexo, the Mentorship team seeks to bring female leaders to the frontlines and create a unique opportunity for those new to Flexo to feel linked to a broader Flexo community.
Our Mission: To offer a forum where women with experience in the Flexo Industry can be connected with newcomers to the industry. By providing a structured platform to connect people, the mentorship program seeks to inspire and guide women entering the industry as they learn to navigate the world of Flexography and the people that comprise our small sector of the Print Industry.
The benefits in being part of this program as a mentor or mentee are tangible. The feedback has been very positive on both sides as everyone reaps the benefits of feeling more connected and learning from the experiences of others. While the regular meetings between mentor and mentee in the professional and student mentorship groups are a core component of the mentorship program, we also gather collectively on a regular basis. In our inaugural ‘20/’21 session we hosted a variety of special group mentorship events to include happy hours, a secret Sally exchange, and a Flexo bingo night. We proved that this mentorship platform is a great way to get and stay plugged-in. A great deal of thoughtful planning helped formed this program and upon careful reflection of each event and individual feedback from those in the Mentorship program we have plans to make this year even better. We look to expand the program for the ‘21/’22 session and are actively seeking mentors and mentees to join our group in the coming years. Whether you are new to the industry or feel you are versed and have wisdom to share, we encourage you to join Women of Flexo and let us know you want to be part of the Mentorship program. You can reach out to us via email with questions or apply to be a mentor or mentee with our online Mentorship Application form.